As social networking has taken us into a world of online communications, the events industry continues to thrive as being future generations’ primary reason to get out and get together. The “work from home entrepreneur” is in their glory day and many start-ups are leveraging conferences and meetups to secure new prospects and leads.
It’s no doubt that the demand for meeting, convention and event planners is projected to grow 11% in the next decade. Many brands rely heavily on the opportunity to connect face to face with their consumers, if not to by-pass the media clutter.
The average consumer is exposed to as many as 5,000 brand messages per day (and that’s not including passive brand messages like logos).
Events are the lifeline that keeps a brand front and center. Whether through a booth at an exhibit, an engaging speaker representing their corporate initiatives or branded signage that boldly supports their target audience’s interests, events are the way to go. Clever event planners use brand sponsorship to finance the majority of their event costs – keeping ticket prices low and attendees eager to participate.
The AR in Participation
It’s not enough to put up a Facebook event and a couple of social posts to engage event-goers. Event marketers need to stay on top of new technologies that offer brand experience solutions. With new AR and VR technologies, consumers have an opportunity to become part of the experience, to interact with a brand in ways they haven’t before. Not only is incorporating AR or VR into your event marketing advantageous as an event organizer looking to continue b2b relationships, it’s also a great way to incentivise ticket sales.
In 2017, the NBA was the first sports association to release what they call 360 Portals. Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, NBA Executive Vice President, Digital Media stated, “We hope fans around the world check out the NBA AR app throughout the Finals for a unique perspective on our biggest event of the year.” In fact, many Startups in the sports world have taken notice of changing audience behaviors and are delivering solutions to bring sports action to viewers. The same goes for many other industries who are looking to offer streamed events to those fans unable to attend the event in person. Offering a 360 Experience Ticket to fans at home, via their mobile device, is definitely gaining popularity for organizers interested in additional ticket revenues.
The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies.
The LD on Blockchain
The more creative ways you can use to catch the eyes of your event-goers the better. Ticketing companies are jumping on the new tech wagon as well. Organizers can now utilize partnerships with their ticket sellers to help boost event promotion. It’s no secret that companies like Ticketmaster are feeling tough scrutiny for their lack of digital resale control. New ticketing start-ups are listening closely to fan requests for honest sales and cost transparency.
In 2017 we began to witness the rise of Blockchain technology. Using blockchain smart contacts appears to be the logical answer to ending the war with ticket bots, scalping and counterfeiting. While fans are begging for performers to deal with ticket availability, artists are turning to their event promoters to find solutions, here lays blockchain start-ups like Vancouver based EventChain SmartTickets™, waiting in the wings.
AI for President
We know that consumer data, when seen in isolation, is inherently useless. It is the ability to analyse this data and identify patterns using sophisticated algorithms that makes all the difference for a marketing bottom line. Self-intuitive algorithms define the intelligence required to uncover insights and make smart recommendations based on consumer behaviours.
Basically, AI gives brands and consequently their event organizers the advantage to predict the success of events. Now organizers can confidently predict how successful their artist’s upcoming tour will be, in Tokyo, at a 2000 person venue, full of EDM loving millennials. No bias, just the facts.
In 2019, we will start to see an influx of existing brands and event organizers engaging with these new technologies. Major brands being the early adopters will look to savvy organizers with existing experience incorporating AR/VR, Blockchain, and AI into their event planning strategies. As quickly as the event industry is expected to grow, there is no competition for the tech industry and their rate of virtual innovations.